Largest Cities in Spain

A panoramic view of Bilbao, one of Spain's major cities.
A panoramic view of Bilbao, one of Spain's major cities.

Spain is one of the oldest countries in Europe, located on the beautiful Iberian Peninsula. Spain is also one of the most populous countries in Europe with around 46 million people. Spain is a country with a low and flat coastal plain around its vast coastline surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The interior of Spain is a rugged mix of hilly regions and tall mountain ranges. Spain is also a very urbanized county, with almost 80% of the population living in urban areas, while the remaining 20% of the country live in the rural parts of Spain. Roman Catholicism is by far the dominate religion in the country, with around 77% of the population adhering to the religion. The major Spanish ethic groups that make up the country's population are Castilian (74%), Catalan (17)%, Galican (6%) and Basque (2%).

The Largest Cities in Spain

10. Zaragoza - 639,000

Sometimes known as Saragossa in English, Zaragoza is a city in northeastern Spain. It is located in the autonomous community of Aragon. Zaragoza is known for offering a unique urban vibe and a large famous Catholic basilica, called Nuestra Señora del Pilar (English: "Our Lady of the Pillar").

9. Las Palmas - 640,000

Las Palmas is home to 640,000 people, making it the ninth largest city in Spain. Las Palmas is located in the Canary Islands. It is the commercial center of the islands, which attract a high volume of tourism.

8. Alicante-Elche - 793,000

When combined, the urban population of the city of Alicante and nearby Elche, equate to 793,000, making it the eighth largest city in Spain. The city is home to a large and historic port on the Mediterranean Sea.

7. Oviedo–Gijón–Avilés - 844,000

The metropolitan area of Oviedo–Gijón–Avilés has a total population of 844,000, making it the seventh most populated urban area in Spain. This conurbation is located in northern Spain, not too far from the Portuguese border.

6. Málaga - 844,000

Málaga is a large city in the autonomous community of Andalusia. With a history that spans nearly 3,000 years, Málaga is one of the oldest cities in the world. Like its more famous cousins, such as Barcelona, Málaga is also found on the Mediterranean coast. Málaga enjoys one of the warmest winters in all of Europe.

5. Bilbao - 947,000

Bilbao is the largest city in Basque country, with nearly 1 million inhabitants. It is found in north-central Spain. Once known as an industrial city, Bilbao today is a leading city in the arts, thanks to being the hometown of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum. Bilbao is a mid-sized city of around 350,000.

4. Seville - 1,262,000

Seville is the largest city in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Within its Old Town alone, Seville is home to three different UNESCO World Heritage sites. Seville also holds the designation of being the hottest metropolitan area in Europe. People from Sevillen are called Sevillanos. Seville is known for being a major cultural center in the South of Spain.

3. Valencia - 1,499,000

Valencia is the capital city of the autonomous region of Valencia and the third largest city in the country. Valencia is a major center of in Spain, though not as big as Barcelona or Madrid, and is home to the port of El Grao which is one of the most used ports in the world. El Grao handles around 20% of the countries exports and is the source of may jobs for the people of the city.

2. Barcelona - 4,251,000

Barcelona is the capital city of the autonomous region of Catalonia and the second largest city in the counry as a whole. Barcelona is a very large industrial center and it also has a government presence due to its status as a capital. Barcelona also ranks among the most visited cities in the world. It also has the status as the most populated city on the entire Mediterranean coast. In 1992, Barcelona hosted the Summer Olympic Games.

1. Madrid - 5,263,000

Madrid is the capital city of Spain and by far the country's largest city. Madrid is the second largest industrial center in the country, the center of national government and the transportation hub of the country. The largest of all Spanish cities, it has served as the capital since the 1500s. Before the capital was named as Madrid, it used to be situated in the city of Toledo. Most large companies in the country have their headquarters in Madrid, which is also home to a famous European football team, Real Madrid. Madrid is one of the most populated cities in Europe.

Spain's Future Demographics: Projections for 2064

By 2064, Spain's population is expected to drop by six million mostly do to a low fertility rate and an aging population. At the current rate 38.7% of Spain's population will be 65 or older by 2064. The report also predicts that future emigration will be down by 2064, but that assumes that the current immigration trends will remain stable. In recent years Spain's foreign population has exploded for the first time in modern history and currently makes up around 10% of its population. Most of Spain's immigrants are from countries that made up the former Spanish Empire. Immigration patterns and trends are are to predict for the future, but it will depend on Spain's future immigration laws, how many immigrants Spain wants to take in and global crises that may cause mass immigration.

20 Largest Cities in Spain

RankCity Population
9Las Palmas640,000
12Santa Cruz de Tenerife–La Laguna581,947
18San Sebastián393,000
19A Coruña–Oleiros–Arteixo376,000
20Valladolid 369,000

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